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Sexual Offences Act 1956

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Sexual Offences Act 1956

1956 CHAPTER 69 4 and 5 Eliz 2

An Act to consolidate (with corrections and improvements made under the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Act 1949) the statute law of England and Wales relating to sexual crimes, to the abduction, procuration and prostitution of women and to kindred offences, and to make such adaptations of statutes extending beyond England and Wales as are needed in consequence of that consolidation.

[2nd August 1956]

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Commencement Information

I1Act wholly in force at 1.1.1957 see s. 56

Part IE+W+S+N.I. Offences, and the Prosecution and Punishment of Offences

Intercourse by force, intimidation, etc.E+W

[1F1 Rape of woman or man.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a man to rape a woman or another man.

(2)A man commits rape if—

(a)he has sexual intercourse with a person (whether vaginal or anal) who at the time of the intercourse does not consent to it; and

(b)at the time he knows that the person does not consent to the intercourse or is reckless as to whether that person consents to it.

(3)A man also commits rape if he induces a married woman to have sexual intercourse with him by impersonating her husband.

(4)Subsection (2) applies for the purpose of any enactment.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 1 substituted (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, ss.142, 172(4)

2 Procurement of woman by threats.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person to procure a woman, by threats or intimidation, to have F2. . . sexual intercourse in any part of the world.

F3(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

3 Procurement of woman by false pretences.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person to procure a woman, by false pretences or false representations to have F4. . . sexual intercourse in any part of the world.

F5(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

4 Administering drugs to obtain or facilitate intercourse.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person to apply or administer to, or cause to be taken by, a woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy or overpower her so as thereby to enable any man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with her.

F6(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

Intercourse with girls under sixteenE+W

5 Intercourse with girl under thirteen.E+W

It is felony for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of thirteen.

6†Intercourse with girl between thirteen and sixteen. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Unreliable marginal note

(1)It is an offence, subject to the exceptions mentioned in this section, for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl . . . F7 under the age of sixteen.

(2)Where a marriage is invalid under section two of the M1Marriage Act 1949, or section one of the M2Age of Marriage Act 1929 (the wife being a girl under the age of sixteen), the invalidity does not make the husband guilty of an offence under this section because he has sexual intercourse with her, if he believes her to be his wife and has reasonable cause for the belief.

(3)A man is not guilty of an offence under this section because he has unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of sixteen, if he is under the age of twenty-four and has not previously been charged with a like offence, and he believes her to be of the age of sixteen or over and has reasonable cause for the belief.

In this subsection, “a like offence” means an offence under this section or an attempt to commit one, or an offence under paragraph (1) of section five of the M3Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the provision replaced for England and Wales by this section).

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Unreliable marginal note

Marginal Citations

Intercourse with defectivesE+W

[F87 Intercourse with defective.E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

(1)It is an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in this section for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman who is a defective.

(2)A man is not guilty of an offence under this section because he has unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman if he does not know and has no reason to suspect her to be a defective.]

8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F9E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

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Amendments (Textual)

9 Procurement of defective.E+W

(1)It is an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in this section, for a person to procure a woman who is a defective to have unlawful sexual intercourse in any part of the world.

(2)A person is not guilty of an offence under this section because he procures a defective to have unlawful sexual intercourse, if he does not know and has no reason to suspect her to be a defective.

IncestE+W

10 Incest by a man.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a man to have sexual intercourse with a woman whom he knows to be his grand-daughter, daughter, sister or mother.

(2)In the foregoing subsection “sister” includes half-sister, and for the purposes of that subsection any expression importing a relationship between two people shall be taken to apply notwithstanding that the relationship is not traced through lawful wedlock.

11 Incest by a woman.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a woman of the age of sixteen or over to permit a man whom she knows to be her grandfather, father, brother or son to have sexual intercourse with her by her consent.

(2)In the foregoing subsection “brother” includes half-brother, and for the purposes of that subsection any expression importing a relationship between two people shall be taken to apply notwithstanding that the relationship is not traced through lawful wedlock.

Unnatural offencesE+W

12 Buggery. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

(1)It is felony for a person to commit buggery with another person [F10otherwise than in the circumstances described in subsection (1A) [F11or (1AA)] below] or with an animal.

[F12F13(1A)The circumstances [F14first] referred to in subsection (1) are that the act of buggery takes place in private and both parties have attained the age of [F15sixteen].

[F12(1AA)The other circumstances so referred to are that the person is under the age of sixteen and the other person has attained that age.]

(1B)An act of buggery by one man with another shall not be treated as taking place in private if it takes place—

(a)when more than two persons take part or are present; or

(b)in a lavatory to which the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise.

(1C)In any proceedings against a person for buggery with another person it shall be for the prosecutor to prove that the act of buggery took place otherwise than in private or that one of the parties to it had not attained the age of [F15sixteen].]

(2)(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F16

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Amendments (Textual)

F10Words in s. 12(1) inserted (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, ss. 143(2), 172(4)

F11Words in s. 12(1) inserted (8.1.2001) by 2000 c. 44, s. 2(1)(a); S.I. 2000/3303, art. 2

F13S. 12(1A)-(1C) inserted (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, ss. 143(3), 172(4)

F14Word in s. 12(1A) inserted (8.1.2001) by 2000 c. 44, s. 2(1)(b); S.I. 2000/3303, art. 2

F15Words in s. 12(1A)(1C) substituted (8.1.2001) by 2000 c. 44, s. 1(1)(a); S.I. 2000/3303, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

13 Indecency between men. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

It is an offence for a man to commit an act of gross indecency with another man [F17otherwise than in the circumstances described below], whether in public or private, or to be a party to the commission by a man of an act of gross indecency with another man, or to procure the commission by a man of an act of gross indecency with another man.

[F18The circumstances referred to above are that the man is under the age of sixteen and the other man has attained that age.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F17Words in s. 13 inserted (8.1.2001) by 2000 c. 44, s. 2(2)(a); S.I. 2000/3303, art. 2

F18S. 13: paragraph inserted (8.1.2001) by 2000 c. 44, s. 2(2)(b); S.I. 2000/3303, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5s. 13 amended by Sexual Offences Act 1967 (c. 60), ss. 1, 2, 4 (3), 7, 9 (2)

AssaultsE+W

14 Indecent assault on a woman.E+W

(1)It is an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in subsection (3) of this section, for a person to make an indecent assault on a woman.

(2)A girl under the age of sixteen cannot in law give any consent which would prevent an act being an assault for the purposes of this section.

(3)Where a marriage is invalid under section two of the M4Marriage Act 1949, or section one of the M5Age of Marriage Act 1929 (the wife being a girl under the age of sixteen), the invalidity does not make the husband guilty of any offence under this section by reason of her incapacity to consent while under that age, if he believes her to be his wife and has reasonable cause for the belief.

(4)A woman who is a defective cannot in law give any consent which would prevent an act being an assault for the purposes of this section, but a person is only to be treated as guilty of an indecent assault on a defective by reason of that incapacity to consent, if that person knew or had reason to suspect her to be a defective.

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Marginal Citations

15 Indecent assault on a man.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person to make an indecent assault on a man.

(2)A boy under the age of sixteen cannot in law give any consent which would prevent an act being an assault for the purposes of this section.

(3)A man who is a defective cannot in law give any consent which would prevent an act being an assault for the purposes of this section, but a person is only to be treated as guilty of an indecent assault on a defective by reason of that incapacity to consent, if that person knew or had reason to suspect him to be a defective.

(4)(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F19

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Amendments (Textual)

16 Assault with intent to commit buggery.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person to assault another person with intent to commit buggery.

(2)(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F20

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Amendments (Textual)

AbductionE+W

17 Abduction of woman by force or for the sake of her property.E+W

(1)It is felony for a person to take away or detain a woman against her will with the intention that she shall marry or have unlawful sexual intercourse with that or any other person, if she is so taken away or detained either by force or for the sake of her property or expectations of property.

(2)In the foregoing subsection, the reference to a woman’s expectations of property relates only to property of a person to whom she is next of kin or one of the next of kin, and “property” includes any interest in property.

18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F21E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

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Amendments (Textual)

19 Abduction of unmarried girl under eighteen from parent or guardian.E+W

(1)It is an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in this section, for a person to take an unmarried girl under the age of eighteen out of the possession of her parent or guardian against his will, if she is so taken with the intention that she shall have unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man.

(2)A person is not guilty of an offence under this section because he takes such a girl out of the possession of her parent or guardian as mentioned above, if he believes her to be of the age of eighteen or over and has reasonable cause for the belief.

(3)In this section “guardian” means any person having [F22parental responsibility for or care of] the girl.

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Amendments (Textual)

20 Abduction of unmarried girl under sixteen from parent or guardian.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person acting without lawful authority or excuse to take an unmarried girl under the age of sixteen out of the possession of her parent or guardian against his will.

(2)In the foregoing subsection “guardian” means any person having [F23parental responsibility for or care of] the girl.

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Amendments (Textual)

21 Abduction of defective from parent or guardian.E+W

(1)It is an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in this section, for a person to take a woman who is a defective out of the possession of her parent or guardian against his will, if she is so taken with the intention that she shall have unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man.

(2)A person is not guilty of an offence under this section because he takes such a woman out of the possession of her parent or guardian as mentioned above, if he does not know and has no reason to suspect her to be a defective.

(3)In this section “guardian” means any person having [F24parental responsibility for or care of] the woman.

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Amendments (Textual)

Prostitution, procuration etc.E+W

22 Causing prostitution of women.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person—

(a)to procure a woman to become, in any part of the world, a common prostitute; or

(b)to procure a woman to leave the United Kingdom, intending her to become an inmate of or frequent a brothel elsewhere; or

(c)to procure a woman to leave her usual place of abode in the United Kingdom, intending her to become an inmate of or frequent a brothel in any part of the world for the purposes of prostitution.

F25(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

23 Procuration of girl under twenty-one.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person to procure a girl under the age of twenty-one to have unlawful sexual intercourse in any part of the world with a third person.

F26(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

24 Detention of woman in brothel or other premises.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person to detain a woman against her will on any premises with the intention that she shall have unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man, or to detain a woman against her will in a brothel.

(2)Where a woman is on any premises for the purpose of having unlawful sexual intercourse or is in a brothel, a person shall be deemed for the purpose of the foregoing subsection to detain her there if, with the intention of compelling or inducing her to remain there, he either withholds from her her clothes or any other property belonging to her or threatens her with legal proceedings in the event of her taking away clothes provided for her by him or on his directions.

(3)A woman shall not be liable to any legal proceedings, whether civil or criminal, for taking away or being found in possession of any clothes she needed to enable her to leave premises on which she was for the purpose of having unlawful sexual intercourse or to leave a brothel.

25 Permitting girl under thirteen to use premises for intercourse.E+W

It is felony for a person who is the owner or occupier of any premises, or who has, or acts or assists in, the management or control of any premises, to induce or knowingly suffer a girl under the age of thirteen to resort to or be on those premises for the purpose of having unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man.

26†Permitting girl between thirteen and sixteen to use premises for intercourse. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C6Unreliable marginal note

It is an offence for a person who is the owner or occupier of any premises, or who has, or acts or assists in, the management or control of any premises, to induce or knowingly suffer a girl . . . F27 under the age of sixteen, to resort to or be on those premises for the purpose of having unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C6Unreliable marginal note

27 Permitting defective to use premises for intercourse.E+W

(1)It is an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in this section, for a person who is the owner or occupier of any premises, or who has, or acts or assists in, the management or control of any premises, to induce or knowingly suffer a woman who is a defective to resort to or be on those premises for the purpose of having unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man.

(2)A person is not guilty of an offence under this section because he induces or knowingly suffers a defective to resort to or be on any premises for the purpose mentioned, if he does not know and has no reason to suspect her to be a defective.

28 Causing or encouraging prostitution of, intercourse with, or indecent assault on, girl under sixteen.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a person to cause or encourage the prostitution of, or the commission of unlawful sexual intercourse with, or of an indecent assault on, a girl under the age of sixteen for whom he is responsible.

(2)Where a girl has become a prostitute, or has had unlawful sexual intercourse, or has been indecently assaulted, a person shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to have caused or encouraged it, if he knowingly allowed her to consort with, or to enter or continue in the employment of, any prostitute or person of known immoral character.

[F28(3)The persons who are to be treated for the purposes of this section as responsible for a girl are (subject to subsection (4) of this section)—

(a)her parents;

(b)any person who is not a parent of hers but who has parental responsibility for her; and

(c)any person who has care of her.

(4)An individual falling within subsection (3)(a) or (b) of this section is not to be treated as responsible for a girl if—

(a)a residence order under the Children Act 1989 is in force with respect to her and he is not named in the order as the person with whom she is to live; or

(b)a care order under that Act is in force with respect to her.]

(5)If, on a charge of an offence against a girl under this section, the girl appears to the court to have been under the age of sixteen at the time of the offence charged, she shall be presumed for the purposes of this section to have been so, unless the contrary is proved.

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Amendments (Textual)

29 Causing or encouraging prostitution of defective.E+W

(1)It is an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in this section, for a person to cause or encourage the prostitution in any part of the world of a woman who is a defective.

(2)A person is not guilty of an offence under this section because he causes or encourages the prostitution of such a woman, if he does not know and has no reason to suspect her to be a defective.

30 Man living on earnings of prostitution.E+W

(1)It is an offence for a man knowingly to live wholly or in part on the earnings of prostitution.

(2)For the purposes of this section a man who lives with or is habitually in the company of a prostitute, or who exercises control, direction or influence over a prostitute’s movements in a way which shows he is aiding, abetting or compelling her prostitution with others, shall be presumed to be knowingly living on the earnings of prostitution, unless he proves the contrary.

31 Woman exercising control over prostitute.E+W

It is an offence for a woman for purposes of gain to exercise control, direction or influence over a prostitute’s movements in a way which shows she is aiding, abetting or compelling her prostitution.

SolicitationE+W

32 Solicitation by men. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

It is an offence for a man persistently to solicit or importune in a public place for immoral purposes.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Suppression of brothelsE+W

33 Keeping a brothel. E+W
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It is an offence for a person to keep a brothel, or to manage, or act or assist in the management of, a brothel.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

34 Landlord letting premises for use as brothel. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

It is an offence for the lessor or landlord of any premises or his agent to let the whole or part of the premises with the knowledge that it is to be used, in whole or in part, as a brothel, or, where the whole or part of the premises is used as a brothel, to be wilfully a party to that use continuing.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

35 Tenant permitting premises to be used as brothel. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

(1)It is an offence for the tenant or occupier, or person in charge, of any premises knowingly to permit the whole or part of the premises to be used as a brothel.

(2)Where the tenant or occupier of any premises is convicted (whether under this section or, for an offence committed before the commencement of this Act, under section thirteen of the M6Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885) of knowingly permitting the whole or part of the premises to be used as a brothel, the First Schedule to this Act shall apply to enlarge the rights of the lessor or landlord with respect to the assignment or determination of the lease or other contract under which the premises are held by the person convicted.

(3)Where the tenant or occupier of any premises is so convicted, or was so convicted under the said section thirteen before the commencement of this Act, and either—

(a)the lessor or landlord, after having the conviction brought to his notice, fails or failed to exercise his statutory rights in relation to the lease or contract under which the premises are or were held by the person convicted; or

(b)The lessor or landlord, after exercising his statutory rights so as to determine that lease or contract, grants or granted a new lease or enters or entered into a new contract of tenancy of the premises to, with or for the benefit of the same person, without having all reasonable provisions to prevent the recurrence of the offence inserted in the new lease or contract;

then, if subsequently an offence under this section is committed in respect of the premises during the subsistence of the lease or contract referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection or (where paragraph (b) applies) during the subsistence of the new lease or contract, the lessor or landlord shall be deemed to be a party to that offence unless he shows that he took all reasonable steps to prevent the recurrence of the offence.

References in this subsection to the statutory rights of a lessor or landlord refer to his rights under the First Schedule to this Act or under subsection (1) of section five of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1912 (the provision replaced for England and Wales by that Schedule).

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

36 Tenant permitting premises to be used for prostitution.E+W

It is an offence for the tenant or occupier of any premises knowingly to permit the whole or part of the premises to be used for the purposes of habitual prostitution.

Powers and procedure for dealing with offendersE+W

37 Prosecution and punishment of offences.E+W

(1)The Second Schedule to this Act shall have effect, subject to and in accordance with the following provisions of this section, with respect to the prosecution and punishment of the offences listed in the first column of the Schedule, being the offences under this Act and attempts to commit certain of those offences.

(2)The second column in the Schedule shows, for any offence, if it may be prosecuted on indictment or summarily, or either, . . . F29 and what special restrictions (if any) there are on the commencement of a prosecution.

(3)The third column in the Schedule shows, for any offence, the punishments which may be imposed on conviction on indictment or on summary conviction, a reference to a period giving the maximum term of imprisonment and a reference to a sum of money the maximum fine.

(4)The fourth column in the Schedule contains provisions which are either supplementary to those in the second or third column or enable a person charged on indictment with the offence specified in the first column to be found guilty of another offence if the jury are not satisfied that he is guilty of the offence charged or of an attempt to commit it, but are satisfied that he is guilty of the other offence.

(5)A provision in the fourth column of the Schedule enabling the jury to find the accused guilty of an offence specified in that provision authorises them, if not satisfied that he is guilty of the offence so specified, to find him guilty of any other offence of which they could find him guilty if he had been indicted for the offence so specified.

(6)Where in the Schedule there is used a phrase descriptive of an offence or group of offences followed by a reference to a section by its number only, the reference is to a section of this Act, and the phrase shall be taken as referring to any offence under the section mentioned.

(7)Nothing in this section or in the Second Schedule to this Act shall exclude the application to any of the offences referred to in the first column of the Schedule—

(a)[F30of [F31section 24 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980] (which relates] to the summary trial of young offenders for indictable offences); or

(b)of [F32subsection (5) of section 121 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980] (which limits the punishment which may be imposed by a magistrates’ court sitting in an occasional courthouse); or

(c)of any enactment or rule of law restricting a court’s power to imprison; or

(d)of any enactment or rule of law authorising an offender to be dealt with in a way not authorised by the enactments specially relating to his offence; or

(e)of any enactment or rule of law authorising a jury to find a person guilty of an offence other than that with which he is charged.

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Amendments (Textual)

F3338. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F33S. 38 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108(4)(7), Sch. 12 para. 15, Sch.15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1) and 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)

39. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F34E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

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Amendments (Textual)

Powers of arrest and searchE+W

40. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F35E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

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Amendments (Textual)

41†Power of arrest in cases of trading in prostitution, or of soliciting by men.E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C12Unreliable marginal note

Anyone may arrest without a warrant a person found committing an offence under section . . . F36 thirty-two of this Act [F37but a constable may only do so in accordance with section 25 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C12Unreliable marginal note

42 Power of search in case of man living on earnings of prostitution.E+W

Where it is made to appear by information on oath before a justice of the peace that there is reasonable cause to suspect that any house or part of a house is used by a woman for purposes of prostitution, and that a man residing in or frequenting the house is living wholly or in part on her earnings, the justice may issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter and search the house and to arrest the man.

43 Power to search for and remove woman detained for immoral purposes.E+W

(1)Where it is made to appear by information on oath laid before a justice of the peace by a woman’s parent, relative or guardian, or by any other person who in the opinion of the justice is acting in the woman’s interests, that there is reasonable cause to suspect—

(a)that the woman is detained in any place within the justice’s jurisdiction in order that she may have unlawful sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man; and

(b)that either she is so detained against her will, or she is under the age of sixteen or is a defective, or she is under the age of eighteen and is so detained against the will of her parent or guardian;

then the justice may issue a warrant authorising a . . . F38 constable to search for her and to take her to and detain her in a place of safety until she can be brought before a justice of the peace.

(2)A justice before whom a woman is brought in pursuance of the foregoing subsection may cause her to be delivered up to her parent or guardian, or otherwise dealt with as circumstances may permit and require.

(3)A constable authorised by a warrant under this section to search for a woman may enter (if need be, by force) any premises specified in the warrant, and remove the woman from the premises.

(4)A constable executing a warrant issued under this section shall be accompanied by the person applying for the warrant, if that person so desires, unless the justice issuing it otherwise directs.

(5)In this section “guardian” means any person having [F39parental responsibility for or care of] the woman.

(6)The powers conferred by this section shall be in addition to and not in derogation of those conferred by [F40Part V of the Children Act 1989].

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Amendments (Textual)

InterpretationE+W

44 Meaning of “sexual intercourse”.E+W

Where, on the trial of any offence under this Act, it is necessary to prove sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), it shall not be necessary to prove the completion of the intercourse by the emission of seed, but the intercourse shall be deemed complete upon proof of penetration only.

[F4145 Meaning of “defective”.E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

In this Act “defective” means a person suffering from [F42a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning].]

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Amendments (Textual)

46 Use of words “man”, “boy”, “woman” and “girl”. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

The use in any provision of this Act of the word “man” without the addition of the word “boy”, or vice versa, shall not prevent the provision applying to any person to whom it would have applied if both words had been used, and similarly with the words “woman” and “girl”.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F4346A Meaning of parental responsibility.E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

In this Act “parental responsibility” has the same meaning as in the Children Act 1989.]

47 Proof of exceptions.E+W

Where in any of the foregoing sections the description of an offence is expressed to be subject to exceptions mentioned in the section, proof of the exception is to lie on the person relying on it.

Part IIE+W+S+N.I. Supplementary

Consequential amendmentsE+W+S+N.I.

48 Amendments of Acts not consolidated. E+W
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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C14The text of s. 48 is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991.

The enactments mentioned in the first column of the Third Schedule to this Act shall be amended as shown in the second column of that Schedule.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C14The text of s. 48 is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991.

49. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F44E+W+S
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Amendments (Textual)

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Amendments (Textual)

50 Adaptation of enactments applying to Northern Ireland.E+W+N.I.

(1)In Northern Ireland, a conviction under section thirty-three, thirty-four, thirty-five or thirty-six of this Act shall be taken into account under section three of the M7Criminal Law Amendment Act (Northern Ireland) 1923, in the same way as a conviction under section thirteen of the M8Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F45

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

51. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F46E+W
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Amendments (Textual)

52 Savings, etc.E+W

(1)Nothing in this Act shall affect any previous enactment in its operation in relation to offences under any such enactment committed or partly committed before the commencement of this Act, or in relation to anything done before that commencement under the authority or for the purposes of any such enactment:

Provided that subsection (1) of section five of the M9Criminal Law Amendment Act 1912, shall not apply where the First Schedule to this Act applies by virtue of subsection (2) of section thirty-five of this Act.

(2)Subject to the provisions of this Act, and in particular to those of the Third Schedule, any reference in any document to an enactment repealed by this Act shall be construed as referring, or as including a reference, to the corresponding provision of this Act, so far as may be necessary to prevent this Act altering the substantial effect of the document.

(3)Without prejudice to the last foregoing subsection any reference in any document to an offence under an enactment repealed by this Act, if it referred, or included a reference, to an attempt to commit an offence under such an enactment, shall be construed as referring, or as including a reference, to an attempt to commit the corresponding offence under this Act, so far as may be necessary to prevent this Act altering the substantial effect of the document.

(4)The inclusion in this Act of any express saving or amendment shall not be taken as prejudicing the operation of section thirty-eight of the M10Interpretation Act 1889 (which relates to the effect of repeals).

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Marginal Citations

53 Construction of references to enactments.E+W

Except in so far as the context otherwise requires, any reference in this Act to any other enactment shall be taken as referring to that enactment as amended by any subsequent enactment, including this Act.

54 Extent.E+W

(1)This Act shall not extend to Scotland, F47. . ..

(2)This Act shall not extend to Northern Ireland, except section fifty F47. . ..

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Amendments (Textual)

F47Words in s. 54(1)(2) repealed (5.11.1993) by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1993 c. 50, s. 1(1), Sch. 1 Pt. I Gp. 1

55 Short title.E+W

This Act may be cited as the Sexual Offences Act 1956.

56 Commencement.E+W

This Act shall come into force on the first day of January, nineteen hundred and fifty-seven.

SCHEDULES

Section 35.

FIRST SCHEDULEE+W Rights of Landlord where Tenant convicted of

permitting use of premises as BrothelE+W

1Upon the conviction of the tenant or occupier (in this Schedule referred to as “the tenant”), the lessor or landlord may require the tenant to assign the lease or other contract under which the premises are held by him to some person approved by the lessor or landlord.E+W

2If the tenant fails to do so within three months, the lessor or landlord may determine the lease or contract (but without prejudice to the rights or remedies of any party thereto accrued before the date of the determination).E+W

3Where the lease or contract is determined under this Schedule, the court by which the tenant was convicted may make a summary order for delivery of possession of the premises to the lessor or landlord.E+W

4The approval of the lessor or landlord for the purposes of paragraph 1 of this Schedule shall not be unreasonably withheld.E+W

5This Schedule shall have effect subject to the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions Acts 1920 to 1939, the M11Furnished Houses (Rent Control) Act 1946, Part II of the M12Reserve and Auxiliary Forces (Protection of Civil Interests) Act 1951, and Part I of the M13Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 [F48Part I of the Housing Act 1988 and Schedule 10 to the Local Government and Housing Act 1989].E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

Section 37.

SECOND SCHEDULEE+W Table of offences, with mode of prosecution, punishments, etc.

Part IE+WFelonies and attempts of felonies

OffenceMode of ProsecutionPunishmentProvisions as to alternative verdicts etc.
1. (a) Rape (section one)On indictment, F49 . . . Life

The jury may find the accused guilty—

(i) of procurement of a woman by threats (section two); or

(ii) of procurement of a woman by false pretences (section three); or

(iii) of administering drugs to obtain or facilitate intercourse (section four);

(iv)—(ix) F50 . . .

(b)An attempt to commit this offence.On indictment[F51L ife]
2. (a) Intercourse with girl under thirteen (section five).On indictment, F49 . . .LifeF52 . . .
(b)An attempt to commit this offenceOn indictment, F49 . . .[F53Seven years]
3.(a) Buggery (section twelve).On indictment, F49 . . .[F54If with a person under the age of sixteen or with an animal, life; if the accused is of or over the age of twenty-one and the other person is under the age of eighteen, five years, but otherwise two years.]
(b) An attempt to commit this offence.On indictment[F54If with a person under the age of sixteen or with an animal, life; if the accused is of or over the age of twenty-one and the other person is under the age of eighteen, five years, but otherwise two years.]
4.Abduction of woman by force or for the sake of her property (section seventeen). On indictment, F49 . . .Fourteen years
5. F55 . . .
6.Permitting girl under thirteen to use premises for intercourse (section twenty-five).On indictment, F49 . . .Life
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Amendments (Textual)

F50Word "or" and paras (iv)-(ix) repealed by Criminal Law Act 1967 (c. 58), Sch. 3 Pt. III

F53Words substituted by Indecency with Children Act 1960 (c. 33), s. 2(3)

F54Entries in Sch. 2 Pt. I para. 3 substituted (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, ss. 144(2)(a)(b), 172(4)

Part IIE+WOffences other than felonies and attempts at felonies

OffenceMode of ProsecutionPunishmentProvisions as to alternative verdicts etc.
7.(a) Procurement of woman by threats (section two).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
(b) An attempt to commit this offence.On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
8.Procurement of woman by false pretences (section three).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
9.Administering drugs to obtain or facilitate intercourse (section four). On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
10.(a) Intercourse with girl [F57under 16] (section six).On indictment, F56 . . . ; a prosecution may not be commenced more than twelve months after the offence charged.Two years
(b) An attempt to commit this offence.On indictment, F56 . . . ; a prosecution may not be commenced more than twelve months after the offence charged.Two years
11.(a)Intercourse with [F58defective] (section seven). On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
(b)An attempt to commit this offence.On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
12. F59 . . .
13.(a)Procurement of defective (section nine).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
(b)An attempt to commit this offence.On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
14.(a) Incest by a man (section ten).On indictment, F56 . . . ; a prosecution may not be commenced [F60except by or with the consent] of the Director of Public Prosecutions F61 . . .If with a girl under thirteen, and so charged in the indictment, life; otherwise seven years.

The jury may find the accused guilty—

(i)of intercourse with a girl under thirteen (section five); or

(ii)of intercourse with a girl between thirteen and sixteen (section six);

(iii) F62 . . .

(b)An attempt to commit this offence.On indictment, F56 . . . ; a prosecution may not be commenced [F60except by or with the consent] of the Director of Public Prosecutions F61 . . .[F63If with a girl under thirteen who is stated to have been so in the indictment, seven years; otherwise two years.]
15.(a) Incest by a woman (section eleven)On indictment, F56 . . . ; a prosecution may not be commenced [F60except by or with the consent] of the Director of Public Prosecutions F61 . . .Seven years
(b)An attempt to commit this offence. On indictment, F56 . . . ; a prosecution may not be commenced [except by or with the consent] of the Director of Public ProsecutionsTwo years
16. (a) Indecency between men (section thirteen).On indictment F56 . . . ;[F64If by a man of or over the age of twenty-one with a man under the age of [F65sixteen], five years; otherwise two years.]
(b)An attempt to procure the commission by a man of an act of gross indecency with another man.On indictment, F56 . . .[F64If the attempt is by a man of or over the age of twenty-one to procure a man under the age of [F65sixteen] to commit an act of gross indecency with another man, five years; otherwise two years.]
17. Indecent assault on a woman (section fourteen).

(i)On indictment

[F66(ii)summarily (by virtue of [F67section 17(1) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980])]

[F68Ten years]

[F69As provided by [F70section 32(1) of that Act] (that is to say, six months or the prescribed sum within the meaning of that section, or both)]

18. Indecent assault on a man (section fifteen).

(i) On indictment

[F66(ii) summarily (by virtue of [F67section 17(1) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980]]

Ten years

[F69As provided by [F70section 32(1) of that Act] (that is to say, six months or the prescribed sum within the meaning of that section, or both)]

19.Assault with intent to commit buggery (section sixteen).On indictmentTen years
20.Abduction of girl under eighteen from parent or guardian (section nineteen).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
21.Abduction of girl under sixteen from parent or guardian (section twenty).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
22.Abduction of defective from parent or guardian (section twenty-one).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
23. (a) Causing prostitution of a woman (section twenty-two)On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
(b)An attempt to commit this offenceOn indictment, F56 . . .Two years
24. (a)Procuration of girl under twenty-one (section twenty-three).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
(b)An attempt to commit this offence.Two years
25.Detention of woman in brothel (section twenty-four).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
26.Permitting girl [F57 under 16] to use premises for intercourse (section twenty-six).On indictment, F56 . . .Two yearsF71 . . .
27.Permitting defective to use premises for intercourse (section twenty-seven).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
28.Causing or encouraging prostitution, etc., of girl under sixteen (section twenty-eight).On indictmentTwo years
29.Causing or encouraging prostitution of defective (section twenty-nine).On indictment, F56 . . .Two years
30.Living on earnings of prostitution (section thirty).

(i) On indictment

(ii) Summarily

[F72Seven years]

Six months

F73 . . .
31. Controlling a prostitute (section thirty-one).

(i)On indictment

(ii) Summarily

[F72Seven years]

Six months

F73 . . .
32. Solicitation by a man (section thirty-two).

(i) On indictment

(ii) Summarily

Two years

Six months

F73 . . .
33. Keeping a brothel (section thirty-three).Summarily F73 . . .For an offence committed after a previous conviction, six months, or two hundred and fifty pounds, or both; otherwise, three months, or one hundred pounds, or both.A conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-four, thirty-five or thirty-six of this Act, or under section thirteen of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the section replaced for England and Wales by sections thirty-three to thirty-six of this Act), shall be taken into account as a previous conviction in the same way as a conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-three of this Act.
34. Letting premises for use as brothel (section thirty-four).Summarily F73 . . .For an offence committed after a previous conviction, six months, or two hundred and fifty pounds, or both; otherwise, three months, or one hundred pounds, or both.A conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-three, thirty-five or thirty-six of this Act, or under section thirteen of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the section replaced for England and Wales by sections thirty-three to thirty-six of this Act), shall be taken into account as a previous conviction in the same way as a conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-four of this Act.
35. Tenant permitting premises to be used as brothel (section thirty-five).Summarily F73 . . .For an offence committed after a previous conviction, six months, or two hundred and fifty pounds, or both; otherwise, three months, or one hunderd pounds, or both.A conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-three, thirty-four or thirty-six of this Act, or under section thirteen of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the section replaced for England and Wales by sections thirty-three to thirty-six of this Act), shall be taken into account as a previous conviction in the same way as a conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-five of this Act.
36. Tenant permitting premises to be used for prostitution (section thirty-six).Summarily F73 . . .For an offence committed after a previous conviction, six months, or two hundred and fifty pounds, or both; otherwise, three months, or one hundred pounds, or both.A conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-three, thirty-four or thirty-five of this Act, or under section thirteen of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the section replaced for England and Wales by sections thirty-three to thirty-six of this Act), shall be taken into account as a previous conviction in the same way as a conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-six of this Act.
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Amendments (Textual)

F62Word "or" and para. (iii) repealed by Criminal Law Act 1967 (c. 58), Sch. 3 Pt. III

F63Words substituted by Indecency with Children Act 1960 (c. 33), s. 2(3)

F64Entries in Sch. 2 Pt. II para. 16(a)(b) substituted (3.11.1994) by 1994 c. 33, ss. 144(3)(a)(b), 172(4)

F66Words in sub para. (ii) substituted by Criminal Law Act 1977 (c. 45), Sch. 12

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C15Sch. 2 Pt. II para. 10 amended (4.7.1996) by 1996 c. 25, s. 56 (with s. 78(1))

C16Sch. 2 Pt. II paras 33-36: Criminal Justice Act 1982 (c. 48, SIF 39:1), ss. 35 (in relation to liability on first and subsequent convictions), 38 (increase of fines) and 46 (substitution of references to levels on the standard scale) apply (E.W.)

Section 48.

Third ScheduleE+W+S+N.I. Consequential Amendments of Enactments not Consolidated.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C17The text of Sch. 3 is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991.

Enactment and Subject matterAmendment
. . . F74 . . . F74
The Children and Young Persons Act, 1933.
. . . F75 . . . F75
Subsection (2) of section ninety-nine (Presumption as to the truth of allegations about a person’s age in a charge or indictment).for the words “except an offence under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885” there shall be substituted the words “except as provided in that Schedule”.
First Schedule (Offences to which special provisions of the Act apply).Immediately before the last entry there shall be inserted the following entry:— “Any offence against a child or young person under any of the following sections of the Sexual Offences Act, 1956, that is to say sections two to seven, ten to sixteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-two to twenty-six and twenty-eight, and any attempt to commit against a child or young person an offence under section two, five, six, seven, ten, eleven, twelve, twenty-two or twenty-three of that Act: Provided that for the purposes of subsection (2) of section ninety-nine of this Act this entry shall apply so far only as it relates to offences under sections ten, eleven, twelve, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, twenty and twenty-eight of the Sexual Offences Act, 1956 and attempts to commit offences under sections ten, eleven and twelve of that Act.”
The Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1952.For the words “under section one of the Vagrancy Act, 1898” there shall be substituted the words “under section thirty, thirty-one or thirty-two of the Sexual Offences Act, 1956”.
The Visiting Forces Act, 1952.
Paragraph 1 of the Schedule (Offences not triable by United kingdom courts in the cases provided for by section three of the Act).At the end of sub-paragraph (b) there shall be added as a new paragraph (viii):— “(viii) sections two to twenty-eight of the Sexual Offences Act 1956.”
. . . F76
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Amendments (Textual)

F74Sch. 3 entry relating to Extradition Act 1873 repealed by Extradition Act 1989 (c. 33, SIF 48), s. 37, Sch. 2

F75Sch. 3 entry relating to s. 15 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 repealed by Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60, SIF 95), s. 119(2), Sch. 7 Pt. V and expressed to be repealed (5.11.1993) by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1993 c. 50, s. 1(1), Sch. 1 Pt. I Gp.1

F77F77SCHEDULE 4E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F77

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